Staying healthy amidst a global pandemic is crucial and regular testing is part of that vigilance, so the Morongo Basin Healthcare District has stepped up to provide easy testing and flu shots to residents. Reporter Heather Clisby has details…

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, or even if you don’t, residents should consider getting tested for the virus. Starting Tuesday, November 17, the Morongo Basin Healthcare District will provide free COVID-19 testing and flu vaccines at various community centers in the Basin for the remainder of 2020.

Though the services are open to all, those with health insurance are asked to bring their information so that insurance can be billed.

Drive-thru testing will be offered at the following locations from 9 am until 11 am:

  • Morongo Basin Community Health Center, 58375 29 Palms Hwy in Yucca Valley, on Tuesdays in November and December and on Saturday, December 12.  
  • Morongo Basin Community Health Center, 6380 Split Rock Ave in Twentynine Palms, on Thursday, November 19, December 3, 10, and 17, and Monday, December 21.
  • Morongo Valley Community Center, 11165 Vale Drive, on Monday, November 16 and Wednesday, December 2.
  • Center for Healthy Generations, 57121 Sunnyslope Drive in Yucca Valley, on Wednesday November 18, and Monday December 7.
  • Pappy and Harriet’s, Pioneertown, on Wednesday, December 16.
  • Sportsman Lodge, 6225 Sunburst Street in Joshua Tree, on Monday, November 23, and Wednesday, December 9.
  • Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-1/2 Amboy Rd in Twentynine Palms, on Monday, November 30, and Monday, December 14.

Visit the to view the list of test dates and locations.


This year, the Yucca Valley Film Festival received 243 submissions from 27 countries, and selected more than 50 movies and artists to compete during three days of celebration.

Results announced Sunday (November 15) distributed awards to multiple local talents through the movie “Nick and Zach: High Desert Day,” filmed near Joshua Tree National Park, and the music video “That One Girl,” by local Yucca Valley band “Off The Wall.”

Nick Luciano and Zach Fairless are returning local filmmakers, who won third place of the 2019 Audience Award.

Actor William Baldwin spent almost two hours live with the festival talking about his career, his biggest movies and TV shows.

Videos of all panels and interviews will remain available on the Festival’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

Best feature of the year goes to “Thy Neighbor,” a thriller directed by Emmy Award winner George A. Johnson.


Yucca Valley Award

Very Nick and Zach: High Desert Daydirected by Nick LuchianoYucca Valley
Keep Mojave Free Award

Off the Wall – “That One Girl”directed by Zak KupchaYucca Valley
Best Feature Film

Thy Neighbordirected by George A. JohnsonCanada
Best Short Film

Lessons with Marthadirected by Matthew C. JohnsonLos Angeles
Best Documentary

Iron Duckdirected by Ben DolencCalifornia
Best Drone Film

Würm – A Scotland Journeydirected by Julien HudymFrance
Best Animated film

Super Genericdirected by Di LuFlorida
Best Visual Film

The Dawndirected by NP NovackUSA / France
Best Dance Film

Trappeddirected by Carlos Garland, Marisa DolanFlorida
Best Music Video

Nice Shoesdirected by Jonathan LawrenceLos Angeles
Best Composer

Angel of Griefcomposed by Stefano GargiuloItaly
Best Poster

The Fixerdirected by Michael SchilfLos Angeles
Best Script

Paradigmwritten by Stephen WiseUSA
Festival Pick

Talkdirected by Romual BoulangerUSA / France

Catch up with the winning movie on XERB: 


All participants and viewers with a Xerb account can now vote for the one film of their choice, using THIS FORM

Votes will be considered through midnight November 22.

The audience award will be announced November 23.



All 2020 movies selected to the festival remain available to watch on XERB through November 22, Midnight:


The Yucca Valley Planning Commission will hold a special meeting tonight (Monday, November 16). Managing editor Tami Roleff fills in the agenda…

At tonight’s special meeting of the Yucca Valley Planning Commission, the commissioners will hold a public hearing and be asked to approve a conditional use permit for a four-unit fast food facility with a drive-through, on the northwest corner of Balsa Avenue and Highway 62. The building will be about 5300 square feet and will include a Domino’s on the end cap. Also on the agenda is a native plant permit for 9270 Fortuna Avenue to remove five groups of Mojave yuccas and three juniper trees. Tonight’s meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the Yucca Room of the Yucca Valley Community Center or watch it online at


California Gov. Gavin Newsom, along with the governors of Oregon and Washington, issued a travel advisory Friday urging visitors entering their states or residents returning home to self-quarantine to slow the spread of the coronavirus, according to a news release. The governors urge against nonessential, out-of-state travel, ask people to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country and encourage residents to stay local.

“California just surpassed a sobering threshold – one million COVID-19 cases – with no signs of the virus slowing down,” Newsom said in a statement.

In addition to the 14-day self-quarantine, the states’ recommend individuals limit their interactions to their immediate household. The advisories define essential travel as travel for work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care and safety and security.

“If you do not need to travel, you shouldn’t,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said COVID-19 cases in his state have doubled over the past two weeks. “This puts our state in as dangerous a position today as we were in March,” he said.


Part 1 can be found here:

In the heart of the Morongo Basin, nestled between the City of Twentynine Palms and the Town of Yucca Valley, is the Village of Joshua Tree. In Part 1 of our Historical Highlight story, we shared the history of Joshua Tree through the 1970s. In Part 2, reporter Andrew Dieleman continues the history through present day…

Major development of Joshua Tree continued through the 1980s. In 1984, the Joshua Tree post office was moved to Hallee Road, the Morongo Basin Station of the California Highway Patrol was completed, and phase 1 of Copper Mountain College opened to students. In 1989, the Hi-Desert Medical Center expanded to a 120-bed continuing care center and Joshua Tree’s first radio station, Z107.7fm, erected its first tower atop Copper Mountain. Through the 1990s, Joshua Tree’s population grew to more than 12,000 people, and the village saw the construction of Phase II and III of Copper Mountain College and the redesignation of the now Joshua Tree National Park. To this day, locals and tourists alike flock to the Village of Joshua Tree by the millions to visit the National Park, experience the creative work of local artists, and maybe pick up a few good desert vibes in the process.